Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Kaktovik bear viewing

  1. #1
    Member FairbanksFlies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    134

    Default Kaktovik bear viewing

    What's a person's best bet for a bear viewing tour up at Kaktovik in late September or early October?

  2. #2
    Member kwackkillncrew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    chugiak, ak
    Posts
    1,314

    Default

    P1020889.jpg
    I believe most of their whaling happens in september. I was there in early to mid october for work and the bone piles were all clean but the locals do some not so legal things to keep the bears around for the bear viewers. First couple days it was snowing and low vis and then the next day it cleared up and the things were crawling all over. Pretty spooky knowing that they were around you just couldnt see them. We were surveying the new runway they built. All through the night it sounded like a gun battle going off with the polar bear patrol trying to scare them out of town. They tend to hang out at the old runway by the military building. (thats where the bone pile is)
    I will never be a "Prostaffer" its not that I am not good enough
    but its because I refuse to pimp products for free.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kwackkillncrew View Post
    but the locals do some not so legal things to keep the bears around for the bear viewers.
    I’m going to call bull**** on that one unless you have some specifics other than rumor and witnessed something. I’d like to hear the specifics. Especially whether the “locals” as you describe are residents of the community or the opportunistic business minded individuals that come and go seasonally with the bears. Or, may not even live there.

    With the ice gone, bears are scavenging anything they can find to survive from now until the ice forms again in October. There were a good number of caribou harvested near the island this summer and I wouldnÂ’t doubt that gut piles became part of the bearÂ’s diet. There are bears there now, but not in the numbers seen after a whale is harvested. I believe the village gets 3 strikes and if successful thatÂ’s puts a lot of scrap on the beach. The bone yard is located at the end of the old runway about a mile away from the nearest houses. While respected, the bears are not welcome in the community and considerable hazing efforts are conducted to avoid habituating bears. However, whale meat is often stored outdoors and in arctic entryways and sometimes becomes an attractant. ItÂ’s not intentional.

    If you are interested in viewing bears and can travel on relatively short notice (within a couple of weeks), IÂ’d call one of the hotels and ask them how many bears are in town. If there has been a recent whale landing in late August or early September, you are virtually guaranteed to see bears. Whaling season can last a month or three days depending on the weather. The highest number of bears typically show up right after whaling is done.

    The bears have been congregating in Kaktovik for many decades while the bear viewing ventures that have grown up around their presence are more recent.

  4. #4
    Member kwackkillncrew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    chugiak, ak
    Posts
    1,314

    Default

    I was on the old runway watching the bears (they were about a quarter mile away). The short bus that was loaded with tourists headed out past the bone pile and parked. they then put out 3 bucks full of what seems to be guts and animal pieces of some parts 30 feet or so from the bus and the bears came straight to the buckest. Last time i checked your not supposed to be feeding or attracting polar bears to a location to give your bear viewers a closer look. Maybe they have some special permit to do it but i doubt it.
    I will never be a "Prostaffer" its not that I am not good enough
    but its because I refuse to pimp products for free.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •